Red Hat raises flag, leads linux charge

The open-source Linux operating system continues to move closer and closer toward widespread enterprise acceptance. The penguins came out in full force Monday with vendors releasing a number of software applications gearing Linux for heavy business use.

Red Hat Inc. -- a maker of one of the most widely used versions of the Linux operating system -- led the Linux charge with announcements regarding the Tuesday release of the vendor's new Red Hat Linux 7 server software and the Red Hat Network Internet-based service for management of open-source platforms.

Dell Computer Corp. backed up its recent support of Red Hat and Linux by claiming it will be the first to market with version 7 of Red Hat's OS on Dell's PowerEdge servers and Precision workstations.

Red Hat said the new version of its OS should come with increased security features along with software geared toward high-end Intel Corp. chips. The vendor also pledged numerous applications suited for the enterprise and better 3-D support. Red Hat Linux 7 comes in three versions: a standard edition at US$29.95, the Deluxe edition at $79.95, and the Professional at $179.95. Only the Deluxe and Professional versions contain Sun Microsystems Inc.'s StarOffice suite of desktop productivity applications.

The Linux vendor also said Monday it will give users of the new OS a 60-day trial of the Red Hat Network at no charge. The company based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, said the network should help add security and reliability functions to networked systems. The Internet-based service allows customized preferences for security alerts, update management and technical support.

Red Hat said the network services will be ready for Linux 7 users when the OS debuts Tuesday. Come December, the vendor vowed all of the network offerings will be integrated with Red Hat's entire services range. Individuals can obtain updates to the network for $9.95 a month with businesses paying between $400 and $500 per year depending on the size of the company and the level of technical support required.

While not partnering with Dell, TurboLinux Inc. dangled its OS in front of another PC powerhouse and, in doing so, upped its position in the European market.

TurboLinux said Monday Taiwanese company Acer Inc. -- one of the world's largest PC manufacturers -- will use the Linux OS on select models of its AcerPower and Veriton business desktop computers in the European market. Available with a choice of seven languages, the PCs will ship across the continent by Oct. 1.

LynuxWorks Inc. also made an announcement Monday saying it has developed a product which integrates the Microsoft Corp. Visual C++ IDE (integrated development environment) with application development tools for the Linux OS. With Visual C++ standing as a standard for Windows-based software development, LynuxWorks hopes to encourage the development of embedded applications for the open-source platform. The VisualLynux software is compatible with LynuxWorks' BlueCat Linux OS.

Red Hat, based in Durham, North Carolina, can be reached at www.redhat.com. TurboLinux, in Brisbane, California, can be reached via the Web at www.turbolinux.com. LynuxWorks, based in San Jose, California, can be reached at www.lynuxworks.com.

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